Mittersill Castle

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Mittersill Castle
Mittersill Castle

Mittersill Castle

Castle type : Hangburg ; Fortress , today a country castle
Conservation status: Hotel (conference, study and holiday center; local history museum)
Standing position : prince archbishop. Nursing dish
Place: Mittersill
Geographical location 47 ° 17 '14.7 "  N , 12 ° 29' 4.6"  E Coordinates: 47 ° 17 '14.7 "  N , 12 ° 29' 4.6"  E
Mittersill Castle (State of Salzburg)
Mittersill Castle
Coat of arms of the Counts of Mittersill according to Siebmacher's coat of arms book

Mittersill Castle is not far from the town of Mittersill in Oberpinzgau , Zell am See district of the State of Salzburg (Thalbach 1). Mittersill Schloß is a separate cadastral community in the northeast of the Mittersill municipality and connects to the central cadastral community of Mittersill Markt to the north . Despite several fires, the castle has been preserved in the structural form of the 16th century to this day. The buildings that are closed by a battlement and arranged in a horseshoe shape are striking for the castle construction . On the west side these are surmounted by two mighty round towers. Coming from the east, under the former palace , you enter the inner courtyard through a gate from 1537 , which extends to the south. In the south-west corner is the mighty witch's tower , with the castle chapel on the upper floor. The access to the almost level courtyard leads past the so-called court house . At the ground level, farm buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries have been added at the site of an earlier battlement. The hall has a gable roof running in north-south direction with small hips on both sides.


On the northern slope of the Salzach Valley , located on a spur high above the valley floor, the castle has served since the Middle Ages for strategic control of the valley road of the Oberpinzgau and the mountain pass roads to Tyrol , which stretch from there to the Thurn Pass in the north and to the Felber Tauern in the south. The area was particularly important for transalpine traffic between the 10th and 14th centuries.

Middle Ages and early modern times

At the current location of the castle, 140 meters above the valley, there was a castle around 1150, which was the seat of the district court of Oberpinzgau . Around 1000 it belonged to the Counts of Matrei , 200 years later to the Dukes of Bavaria , but in the 12th century it was exchanged for the Archbishopric of Salzburg .

Mittersill Castle was founded by the Counts of Lechsgmünd , who had the Upper Pinzgau as a fiefdom from the Bavarian dukes . Depending on their stay, they called themselves Counts of Sulzau , or von Pinzgau, from 1180 Counts of Mitersele . The castle probably started around 1150. In 1228 the county came to the Salzburg monastery and the castle became the seat of the keepers for the Upper Pinzgau. For a long time these came from the von Felben family . Gebhart von Velben is mentioned here in 1292, Heinrich in 1344, Conrad and Hans in 1347 and another Heinrich in 1360–63. In 1388 the castle served as a residence for Archbishop Pilgrim II of Puchheim for a long time .

In 1526 the castle was captured, looted and burned down during a peasant uprising. Archbishop Matthäus Lang put down the uprising with a mercenary army and forced the farmers to rebuild the castle. The castle, which was now expanded like a castle, received reinforced fortifications. A well was dug in the courtyard in case of sieges. The year 1528 (completion) is carved over the archway of the entrance. The castle chapel was completed in 1533; The year and coat of arms of the archbishop are affixed to the ceiling of the chapel. In 1555 another fire destroyed the hall and the gatehouse below. The reconstruction is carried out by local forces, such as the builder Leopold Winckler and the carpenter Gabriel Sayler. In 1562 the chapel was given a roof turret for a bell. Further renovations and additions took place in 1563/64: such as a horse and cattle stable, baths in the castle and kennel, tiled stoves for the rooms. In 1597 a fire again destroyed the hall and gate room. In 1606, these parts were repaired and a fish cave was created in the castle moat. The chapel is mentioned in 1617 as not consecrated, in 1673 the patronage of the Holy Trinity is mentioned. In 1773 the castle was given a new shingle roof. In 1774 a seven- shoe- high stove was delivered for the Prince's Room. Around 1800 the drawbridge to the castle is removed.

Time after the dissolution of the Archbishopric Salzburg

After the archbishopric of Salzburg came to an end due to secularization, the owners changed very frequently. In 1816 the kuk district court was established in the castle, although the castle was still inhabited and administered by carers until 1850. In 1845 the order was given to repeal the castle chapel.

In 1881 the castle, which had previously been owned by the Austrian state, was sold to the citizen of Wels, Anton Hahn, who sold it to Countess Marie Larisch-Moenich, nee Freiin von Wallsee, in 1882. She had the palace completely renovated by the Viennese architect Gangolf Kaiser. Overtaxed by these investments, the palace was left to the architect's son, Karl Georg Kaiser, in 1885. Other owners take over in quick succession: Theodor Pöller (1894), Michael Wahl (1896), brewery director from Augsburg, Leopold and Marianne Philippi (1903), Countess Eugenie Clary-Aldringen (1910), Margareta Jernberg from Stockholm (1919), born Weißenberger; Hugo von Grundherr zu Altentann, an academic painter from Munich, took over the property in the same year. He redesigned the castle romantically and set up an art collection here. Financially overtaxed, the property fell to the Lammer Bank from Zell am See, which sold it to the International Sports and Shooting Clubs in 1936 , which included many nobles, industrialists and film stars. In July 1938 a fire broke out in the castle, probably due to lightning, and the buildings suffered severe damage. It was not completely restored until after the Second World War.

Mittersill Castle during the National Socialism

After the German invasion in 1938 , Mittersill Castle was confiscated; the Reichsinstitut Sven Hedin for Inner Asia Research , subdivision of the Ahnenerbe e. V. of the SS Main Office Personal Staff Reichsführer SS moved into premises there. From March 24, 1944, female forced laborers were also housed there in an external unit of the Mauthausen concentration camp . There were 15 Jehovah's Witnesses who were originally imprisoned in the Ravensbrück concentration camp . On May 8, 1945, the women were liberated by the Americans; some of them were transferred back to Mauthausen and then released there, two women apparently remained in Mittersill.

After 1945

After the renovation, famous guests were guests at the castle from the 1950s - including the Shah of Persia and the Dutch royal couple , King Faruq of Egypt, the Duke of Windsor , Aristotle Onassis , Aga Khan , Henry Ford II , Rita Hayworth , Gina Lollobrigida and Clark Gable .

In the mid-1960s, the management of the sports and shooting club decided to sell the castle. This was heard from C. Stacey Woods, the then General Secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students  (IFES). With the help of generous donors, IFES managed to acquire the castle in 1967, which served as a conference center, with Andrzej Turkanik as the director .

In December 2009, two local families bought the castle. It is therefore in Pinzgau hands for the first time, and after careful restoration, but without changing the external appearance, has been open to the public as a 4-star hotel since the end of 2011.


  • Friederike Zaisberger & Walter Schlegel : Castles and palaces in Salzburg. Pongau, Pinzgau, Lungau . Birch series, Vienna 1978, ISBN 3-85030-037-4 .
  • Siebmacher, Johann: Johann Siebmacher's coat of arms book. Volume 28. The coats of arms of the nobility in Salzburg, Styria and Tyrol. Facsimile reprint of the Nuremberg edition 1701–1806. Munich: Battenberg.

Web links

Commons : Schloss Mittersill  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Salzburg Wiki: cadastral communities in Pinzgau
  2. ^ Lahnsteiner: Oberpinzgau.
  3. ^ Heide Gsell: The Bible Students in the Mauthausen concentration camp. In Andreas Baumgartner, Ingrid Bauz, Jean-Marie Winkler (eds.), Between the mother cross and the gas chamber. Perpetrators and fellow travelers or resistance and persecution ?. Vienna, 2008, edition mauthausen.
  4. Mittersill Castle subcamp illuminated. ORF , March 17, 2014, accessed on November 8, 2017 .
  5. A short history of Mittersill Castle Blog page of the castle ( Memento of the original from February 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed November 24, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /